Recycled Computing

Clouds from Both Sides

- 2011.06.15

I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow,
It's cloud illusions I recall,
I really don't know clouds, at all
   - Joni Mitchell

I watched Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and couldn't help but feel that I was watching the end of an era. Even with a healthy Steve Jobs, the reality distortion field was not quite as evident, and for the first time, it appeared that Apple was reacting to the computer industry, not the other way around.

Apple is trying to transfer the successful elements of the portable iOS to OS X, which makes sense from a business perspective and from a software perspective, as my friend, Mr. Mike points out. You want everything to be similar so an iPhone purchaser can move right to buying a MacBook (or whatever Apple is going to call it in the future). Of course, I'm going to grouse a little that OS X 10.7 Lion requires more advanced processors than 10.6 does.

This is a losing cause, as any owner of a PowerPC Mac knows. Apple is marching forward, past Intel chips and into it's own home grown A chips. I either buy a newer machine or grouch in the background.

Fester, fester, rot, rot. It's hard being a curmudgeon.

It's gotten so bad that I had to use my iPad to view the conference, because the computer I use at work (an iMac with an Intel Core 2 Duo) couldn't show it. Hmmmm, I can't wait until iOS 5 shows up; by updating iTunes, I can let the cloud update my music libraries on my iPod touch and iPad.

I'm a little concerned about Apple's use of the cloud. All of it seems to be application based - and it requires an upgrade in hardware as well. It's just another example of Apple trying to keep everything in the garden.

I'm not too sure that I won't just switch to using Google to provide my cloud services. Google doesn't care what equipment I am using or what operating system I have.*

Is it possible that iCloud is an example of Apple reacting to the market, rather than the market reacting to Apple? The old Applephile in me is wary - is Apple going to be the new Microsoft and no longer be the pesky Rebel Alliance constantly providing an alternative to the Dark Empire?

Will success ruin Tab Hunter? (He's a movie star from the sixties.) I just hope it won't apply to Apple. LEM

* Publisher's note: No, but Google does care what browser version you use. In short, if your hardware doesn't support an operating system that supports the second-most-recent version of a browser, some Google Apps may not work as they do on newer browsers, if they work at all. See Google Apps Dropping Support for Third-Oldest Version of Browsers in last week's Mac News Review for more details. If . dk

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